Article Text


Quantitative measurement of faecal blood loss: comparison of radioisotopic and chemical analyses.
  1. M B Leahy,
  2. M J Pippard,
  3. M B Salzmann,
  4. M G Rinsler,
  5. R Hesp,
  6. T Smith
  1. Section of Haematology, MRC Clinical Research Centre, Harrow Middlesex.


    Blood loss in faeces was assessed by three different methods in five patients with recurrent iron deficiency. In short term (12 day) studies chemical analysis of complete stool collections for haemderived porphyrins (HemoQuant) gave results closely correlated with those obtained by measuring stool loss of 51Cr-labelled red blood cells. Whole body counting for 59Fe was relatively insensitive to small blood losses but allowed losses to be followed up over longer periods. Chemical analysis of faecal porphyrins thus provides a satisfactory alternative to radioisotopic techniques in short term quantitation of faecal blood loss, while longer term whole body counting of 59Fe may still be appropriate in a few patients for the detection and quantification of intermittent blood losses.

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